RideApart Motorcycle Of The Year Awards

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RideApart Motorcycle Of The Year Awards

Honda CB500X
Honda CB500X

Category: ADV

The Winner: Honda CB500X

How It Moves The Needle: For $6,000 you get all the bike anyone could ever need. It’s better in the city than any other ADV bike, better in the canyons and just about as comfortable on the highway.

Why We Chose It: It makes bigger ADV bikes look positively silly. None of them are terribly capable off-road and this is one of the few that isn’t just a dressed-up touring bike. It works way better in the real world for most of today’s riders.

Honda NC700X
Honda NC700X

ADV Runner-Up: Honda NC700X

How It Moves The Needle: Diesel-like low-down torque and fuel-efficiency combine with an unprecedentedly low center of gravity to create an exceptionally easy riding experience. That makes taking it off-road as easy as riding it around town.

Why It Didn’t Win: The cheaper CB500X lacks the torque, the onboard storage and isn’t quite as frugal, but it’s more fun to ride and $1,500 cheaper.

Honda Gold Wing F6B
Honda Gold Wing F6B

Category: Tourer

The Winner: Honda Gold Wing F6B

How It Moves The Needle: Takes the Gold Wing platform and makes it more comfortable, better handling, faster and lighter.

Why We Chose It: We’ve never gotten used to looking through a windscreen and prefer a screen arrangement that directs windblast over our shoulders while leaving the helmet in clean air. That’s what the F6B does best.

Suzuki Burgman 650
Suzuki Burgman 650

Tourer Runner-Up: Suzuki Burgman 650

How It Moves The Needle: 90 percent of the distance ability of a Gold Wing in a lighter, more affordable, much easier to use package.

Why It Didn’t Win: The small wheels and very low center of gravity lead to low-speed awkwardness and, well, it’s a scooter.

2014 Mission RS
2014 Mission RS

RideApart Bike Of The Year

The Winner: 2014 Mission RS

How It Moves The Needle: 2013 will be remembered as the year the motorcycle world changed forever. Why? With the Mission RS, electric power became a superior performance solution to internal combustion engines. It’s not just faster, it delivers much greater feel, more stability and faster steering than any ICE rival, too. Sure, it’s expensive, but progress costs money.

Why We Chose It: Here at RideApart, we like motorcycles because they solve congestion, are cheap to run, put wind in our hair and all that, but mostly we love motorcycles because they go fast. And the Mission RS goes fast better than anything else ever made.

Honda CB500F
Honda CB500F

Bike Of The Year Runner-Up: Honda CB500F

How It Moves The Needle: Unrivaled capability at an unmatched price. For just $5,500, the CB500F delivers a bike that’s accessible to new riders, but fun to ride for experienced guys/gals too. It’d make a great first bike, a great budget commuter or just a good all-rounder for anyone on a budget.

Why It Didn’t Win: It’s just not quite fast enough to really capture our enthusiast hearts.

What is your pick for Bike Of The Year?

  • metric_G

    What? Suzuki Burgman? A tourer? To where, the local coffee shop? There are so many better REAL tourers are out there. Sorry but that one missed the mark by a mile (or ten).

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Ridden one? It’s an excellent touring bike. All day comfort, tons of storage, unmatched convenience features and all that doesn’t fall apart when you enter town.

      • John Ferguson

        You forgot the ability to leave guys on tourers struggling to keep up on 2-lanes…and to carry a week’s worth of stuff WITHOUT hanging saddlebags or duffels off the bike!

  • Hammertime

    Winner’s of the yellow Shoei award?

  • DrLove

    Picture of the KTM 690 Enduro R is for some reason the SMC R…

  • Mykola

    Harley Davidson Street 750 trololol

    It’s a matter of personal preference, but as it relates to me I would elevate the Zero S/SR or Brammo Empulse/R over the Mission RS, since they are finally electric motorcycles that I honestly believe can do at least 90% of what I want a motorcycle to do (the other 10%? well, I think I’m permanently past the one-bike stable at this point) and they are actually affordable. At $60k, the Mission RS is a very nice plaything.

    • drivin98

      The Mission R starts at a much more reasonable $32,499 and is probably 95% as capable.

      • Christopher Nugent

        The Mission R doesn’t exist.

  • Øyvind Røsøvåg Hagen

    Runner Up Sporkbike haha, made my day :D

    • NOCHnoch

      That actually sounds like a great descriptor: A sporkbike is a bike that was designed to do everything well and fails on all counts.

    • http://www.RideApart.com/ Jen Degtjarewsky

      That thud you heard was me smacking my forehead. Its fixed. Thanks for the 411

  • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

    People have criticized your page breaks recently, but they seemed comfortable here. Thesseparate pages here seemed like they would coincide with those of a print edition.

    How come you didn’t consider a conventional ADV bike as the top tourer, namely the Bavarian’s newly redesigned flagship GS? That bike, though cumbersome in the dirt, offers great power and engine feel on the highway, plenty of storage space, confident handling, a high visibility riding position (in the sense that the rider is high enough to see traffic and obstacles and bee seen by SUV drivers) and peerless comfort. It may be a true adventure bike, but if I’m traversing an entire country by highway or planning a trip that requiresa tent and sleeping bbag for a few night, I can’t think of a better way to go about it.

    • Brian

      also of note for consideration in regards to the new water cooled Beemer GS, the KTM 1190 Adventure.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Sure, and it’s also $20k at any dealer and just absolutely gargantuan. I’m 6’2″ and closing in on 200lbs and that bike intimidates me.

      • Stuki

        Don’t let it. It’s a pussycat. Once you grow a bit older, you’ll probably situate firmly in the BMW camp; as they seem to use 6’2″”; 200lb’ers as their standard riders; unlike the Japanese, Italian and Americans, who instead use 5’8″ dudes weighing 130.

        The GS is actually a really, really nice allround bike; for anything other than slow, technical going in cities and on trails. It’s quite amazing to goose the brakes on a tall, lanky bike like that, and have no dive despite stopping like you just ran into a wall. Less amusing how the anti dive geometry makes the front end skip like a stone over both washboard and Botts Dots

      • Jorn Bjorn Jorvi

        Fair enough, you seem to have a strong opinion on the bike so I’ll leave it. But you said in that piece that the big adv bikes aren’t good off road performers. I’ll let you make that case about the 1200, but in the curt caselli tribute you posted a few weeks back he was railing a990. It is possible, and a bike bike can be ridden fast off road.

        Additionally, about the 690 enduro you said, “At the Taste Of Dakar early this year, it was the Enduro R that was the highest performing motorcycle out there. Not only that, but most of the guys with them had ridden them there over hundreds of miles of highway.”

        Why isn’t that the adv winner too?

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Put a bike in the hands of someone like Kurt and any bike is suddenly good off-road. The KTM is always a great bike, but it’s a specialized tool for experts, where Honda is finding genuine utility in an otherwise luxury-focussed segment.

          The 690 won’t fit the on-road focus of the ADV class. It’s not comfy, it’s not practical, it can’t carry luggage or a passenger. That’s what the ADV class is: practicality, comfort, versatility.

  • Brian

    I am honestly surprised the Hyperstrada beats the Diavel Strada for “touring”, or even the F6B that you rode. So, that being said, I guess coming up soon to RA from the HFL crew is the 2013 Gear Of The Year Awards ?

    • Brian

      IMHO, in regards to bike of the year, I don’t have a problem with the Mission RS, but there is so little distribution for electric bikes outside of Cali, that it isn’t on my radar for reality sake ( which may be the in the same vein of opinion for a lot of folks in other regions as well). Outside of electrics, 2013 has been rather lackluster in the offerings outside of the KTM 1190 Adventure. Thankfully it seems that 2014 is shaping up to be a much better year in terms of new product offerings to possibly freshen up the market a fair bit. One bike of note that seems exciting to come is the KTM RC390 for example. There are others as well, like IF Ducati puts forth the teased Scrambler, and if the MV Agusta Sport Tourer actually comes to showrooms, or what is going to be put out from Husquavarna. Time will tell and the future will be here soon enough.

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        Diavel Strada: the category is sport touring, not stupid plasticy cruisers. The Hyper is the much better bike any way you look at it.

        Mission RS: If a bike can move the goal posts like this one does, it doesn’t matter if it’s a tad pricey.

        • Brian

          The Diavel Strada isn’t a cruiser per say nor is it a sportbike either. Most of the press and PR stuff touts it as a “power cruiser” or “Sport Cruiser” from what I have seen. THAT is why I would think it to fit in that column.
          As far as the Mission, my point was that the market for it isn’t spread not the price point. Where are Mission dealers outside of California? If you can’t get it in your area, region or market then what does it matter? It is like most of the grey market machines available from ALL of the mainstream manufacturers in markets outside of the US ( like the good old Honda NT700V Transalp for example). Awesome machines, but not worth a mention or a level of acheivement of “Bike of the Year” when it clearly doesn’t have a broad market appeal across the board. I know we have readers here from everywhere, and that is the beauty of the internet, but lets be real, a machine that is almost exclusive to a portion of a country and that is relatively it, may very well be deserving of that level of acclaim, but should it get it? Accolades should be lauded from all corners of everywhere. Great that you got an opportunity to try something that will be forever an impression on you, but let it be impressive to more folks of the worldwide broad spectrum and it will take the mantle of greatness it would then deserve.

    • Brian

      apparently I wasn’t that far off…-> http://rideapart.com/2013/12/innovative-motorcycle-gear/

  • ThruTheDunes

    Just a quick context question: are your selections based on only the bikes you rode?

    • Brian

      I think so, mostly. I wasn’t going to say it, but I am glad I wasn’t the only one thinking it.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Yes. We’ve ridden virtually every bike on sale right now.

  • sospeedy

    KTM 1290 Super Duke R??????? A contender in more than one category….

    • Reid

      Not that I’ve ridden it (I would probably get myself killed if I tried anyway) but one would think that the Super Duke would be THE naked bike of naked bikes, or maybe the winner in a “Muscle Bike” category.

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        I’d argue that the Hypermotard SP is much more fun and a much more sensible purchase. Big power bikes like that are a pain in the ass.

        • Reid

          No doubt. I hope I don’t ever have to find out!

    • Gordon Pull

      The bike’s not even available yet in the states.

    • Clint Keener

      I don’t think any media has ridden that bike yet, have they?

      • TheSeaward

        Real people already own them (in Europe).

    • Stuki

      2014 MY

  • webbiker

    The KTM pictured is not the enduro R. It’s the SMC R.

  • usediv

    That’s not the 690 enduro, it’s the supermoto

    • Aaron Kirkland

      Was about to say this ^ 690 SMC-R, not available in the USA.

      • Piglet2010

        Boo!

        Why does KTM hate the US?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Fixed now, sorry about that.

  • Blake Bryce

    Hold up. Burgman? I know I am a “heavy bike” guy, but goodness. It is like putting a vespa in the sport category.

    • Jeremy

      While a bit comical, I think it is a fitting commentary-jab at the touring bike market. The Burgman provides comfort, storage, and sufficient power to get the job done, all while being sized to not need a reverse gear, or a buddy to help pick it up.

    • Michael Howard

      Ride one (or any other maxi-scooter) and you’ll understand. My uncle and his adult son, both riders, each took my Yamaha Majesty (400cc) out for a spin and they both said the same thing when they got back: “That’s no scooter!”.

      Try it ‒ you might like it.

  • Riedl

    Sport tourer and Tourer runner ups are quite silly but otherwise seems like a decent list. I was surprised to not see the new DL1000.

  • Jeremy

    I’m glad someone said it about the Triumph Daytona styling. The original Daytona R is one of the sexiest bikes out there, rivaling Ducati even. But the newest plastics remind me of Kawasaki or something, which has never been the brand winning the beauty pagents.

    • Clint Keener

      I think it’s the worst looking bike out now. Such a downgrade.

      • DerekB

        yep agree, the last model was perfect looking

  • Pablo Perez

    I just made a comment pointing out factual inaccuracy in a constructive manner, and my comment was moderated and deleted? Stay classy!

  • ckoerner

    I guess Bonneville’s are boring now. :(

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      Upvote for use of Moof as an avatar.

  • Chester

    Why the Burgman hate? It’s a great tourer. Just because it’s a scooter?

    • metric_G

      Maybe because it is mentioned as second best tourer of the year, load that up with luggage and and two up, and it won’t be a great tourer. So many better choices are out there, the new Triumph Trophy, BMW alone has 5 different bike in this segment, how about the american baggers, Ducati Multistrada Touring, and there are the Kawasaki Concours 14, Yamaha FJR (re-designed this year), etc.
      Unless this article supposed to be comical, but then the other choices make no sense.

      • stever

        What are you bringing with you that you can’t put in the huge underseat box, a top box, and a backpack?

        Also, at that price, you can buy one for your wife instead of making her sit on the back of some Goldwing, 1600LLL, or FXLRODJFD.

        • metric_G

          I’m not saying that the Burgamn is bad, I’m just questioning its second place as a tourer, all around city bike, commuter, sure, but there are so many better choices for touring. Ask 10 riders to pick a touring bike, I wonder how many would pick the Burgman.

          • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

            The Burgman is a fantastic touring bike. And it manages that without weighing 900lbs, with a small, economical motor, significant onboard storage that doesn’t impact its ability in traffic and while being accessible to many, many more riders both economically and in its manageability than anything else in the touring class.

            • metric_G

              If you say so, there are “out of the box thinking articles” and there are proven touring bikes, I could accept it as an alternative, but not the 2nd best tourer of the year, I’ll see myself out :)

              • Chester

                Thanks for the civil dialogue.

            • Stuki

              It’s still one of those spinal disk compression devices known as a scooter. The NC700X, or the CTX version for those preferring a lower seat; both with DCT; are more deserving…….

              • Piglet2010

                Well, my Honda Elite 110 rides more comfortably than my Bonnie.

                • Stuki

                  What’s wrong with your Bonnie? And over what kind of terrain? To simulate a really nasty, sharp pothole, like the ones the City of San Francisco prefer outfitting roads with these days; try running both up an 8″ curb while seated. Then check your spine.

                • Piglet2010

                  Uh, Triumph fits crappy shocks to the Bonnie? Ride quality reminds me of my 1980 Honda CB400T Hawk II.

                  On IL-251 from 12-Mile Corner to Rochelle, I ended up standing most of the way on the Bonnie after getting slammed over every slab faulted crack control joint for the first mile. Two weeks later I rode the same section seated without issue on the Honda Deauville (which has its own suspension issues, but is a much more comfortable bike).

                  If I was going to run over a curb or through a pothole on purpose, I would take the TW200 – large diameter fat tires at 20 psi allow one to plow over most things.

                • JT

                  I didn’t realize the suspension was so bad on the Bonnie.. till I moved to Illinois. The roads here are terrible and the stock suspension doesn’t help. They were adequate back in Cali, but now I have adjustable Hagons on the rear. Not sure how well they’ll work since the weather is too bad for riding right now. As for the front I don’t how to set that up for me:(

              • John Ferguson

                My current ride is a clone of a Honda Helix…the long wheelbase means it rides like a cloud. There’s a chewed-up grade crossing near where I live, and I can take it at 40MPH with no trouble. My only worry is a really bad impact knocking the bars out of my hands due to the Helix’s tiny (110/100-12) front tire.

          • DoctorNine

            One of my nurses has been riding since she was a wiry kid. After having children, and over the years, she has gotten less enamored of throwing a leg over things, and likes to wear dresses to work. So she bought a Burgman. And has ridden it on many long range tours with her husband, who rides a traditional cycle. As well as riding it to work more days than not. It works for her.

      • Chester

        I agree those are all great bikes for touring, but for what is $10k? in the US, I think it’s a great way to get around the country. I think RideApart deserves a little credit for thinking about newer riders or those less financially inclined.

        I’m not knocking you’re opinion. I just don’t think they’re that far off-base with their choices.

      • cr0ft

        You have tons of space under the seat – you can easily fit two full-face helmets under there. So that’s quite a bit of storage. Add a big color-matched Givi top-box to it and you can easily carry quite a lot of cargo. The passenger seat on the Burgman is more throne than it is seat, especially with the top box and a backrest.

        Is it a Gold Wing? No, but it’s plenty fast, fun to ride, extremely practical in day to day (see: storage and a floor to keep the road muck off you) and not really a reach at all as a great tourer. I wouldn’t trade my bagger for it but it is absolutely a brilliant, practical bike as well as a very capable tourer even two-up.

        • Piglet2010

          I would be a lot more tempted to buy a maxi-scoot if they lost some weight and had better suspension, and would be willing to pay $1K more for it.

          • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

            Look at the BMW.

      • Doug Herbert

        I agree completely. Give me the Trophy with it’s 132 horsepower coupled to a perfect 6 speed transmission, fantastic electronically controlled suspension, AM/FM/XM/WB stereo (with bluetooth), abs, traction control, heated grips and seats, completely flat torque curve, tons of storage (with four power outlets), electronic windshield, in a 630 pound package. I wonder which one I would prefer to knock out 500 mile days? Which one does a passenger feel confident on? The Trophy or a glorified scooter? I may be a bit biased due to owning a Trophy, but the press has really missed how awesome this bike is compared to it’s competition. I’m 30 years old, and want to do long distance and curvey roads while not looking like grandpa. The Trophy does this fantastically.

    • http://www.DriveTheWheelsOff.com/ Drive The Wheels Off

      Why the Bergman love in this context when there are dozens of other choices for touring that are lighter than the “winner” of this category? Such edgy journalism !

    • Dave Day

      Just?

      • Chester

        Yes!

  • HD19146

    GTFO, you call the CB500X is a adventure bike? BMW R1200GS, Triumph Tiger, and KTM 1190 are real adventure bike…

    • Bones Over Metal

      Ya and not to mention the new Vstrom 1000

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        That’ll likely make next year’s list :)

    • PeteN95

      I’ll bet I can go anywhere those boat anchors can on dirt riding the 500X and at a much higher speed!? And that is my kind of adventure!?! :-)

      • Stuki

        There will be nothing unbent and unbroken left on neither a 500x nor the spinal disks of it’s rider if ridden apace with an 1190R on a sufficiently bumpy track. Slow down, and get to the technical stuff; and the 500 (with TKC80s) is probably better for most non NBA players (In deep enough mud, the XT250 has it all over the WR, at least for a rider with my limited skills, simply because you can easier prop the low bike up with your legs when it starts to slide out from underneath you), but for going fast over bumps; no way, Jose, is your low to the ground Honda on cast 17s going to hang with 9 inches of KTMs finest, suspending Offroad spec 21/18 wheels.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      LOL. Sorry, we’re just not a fan of fatties.

  • http://www.motard.ca/ Guillaume Béliveau

    Are you guys paid by Honda ?

    • Ryan Kiefer

      Alternate perspective — Honda is on a roll right now. The models they pointed out have gotten pretty universal praise for all who have ridden them, so it’s no shock to me that the CB500s and NC700 showed up here.

      Full disclosure – I less-than-three my CBR250R, which is my perfect all-rounder, ’cause I value that little extra bit of efficiency over speed.

    • http://www.RideApart.com/ Jen Degtjarewsky

      No

    • Stuki
  • Jason 1199

    I need to test ride one of these Honda 500s.

  • MichaelEhrgott

    You guys really need to test some Betas. Your DS awards are boring. Also a WR250R is way more capable than a DRZ.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Sadly, that’s just a reflection of how limited the DS market is here in the US. We’d love more interesting options, sadly there aren’t many.

      • MichaelEhrgott

        I definitely agree but here are some options:
        Beta 450 RS, Beta 520 RS, WR250R, TE 449, TE 510, DR650, XR650L, KTM 500 exc, 350 exc, BMW 650 GS, Husky Terra, KLR. All of these are sold in the U.S with the Huskys being discontinued next year.

        To sum up: Yamaha really needs to make a WR450R with the same service intervals and DOHC tech of the 250R.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Beta is so small it may as well not exist. The WR250R is too expensive (although I love it), Husqvarna is essentially non-existant at the moment, the 650s are too heavy and old, the KTMs are no good on the street and require insane service costs/intervals,t he BMW is a pig, that bike doesn’t exist, the KLR is an ADV bike.

        • Jeremy

          Everyone is waiting for the Blue Unicorn that is the WR450R, me included.

          • MichaelEhrgott

            Seriously. I’d put a deposit on one sight unseen if they announced it. I loved my WR250R a lot but it just couldn’t keep up with the big boys on desert 2-track and mtn passes. Sold it and bought a plated xr650r.

          • Stuki

            350

            • Jeremy

              A WR350R would be a great bike, but would demand an even bigger “premium” since they don’t currently have a 350 engine. Adapting the current WR450F to an R would be seemingly very cheap for them and most of their costs would be in adding a new model with the DOT and marketing.

      • Ulysses Araujo

        What about the CRF 250L? A distant third or almost a runner-up? No cheapo in my country but you never know…

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          A good first dual-sport or around town bike. It’s going to a bit limited for more experienced riders though.

  • stever

    Re: Retro

    where’s my super bol d’or! where’s my super bol d’or!

    https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQKqPpD-9JGZweXh5OGwIhcA_jXm4w8RNH7LqAM_BSVnG9vf9r4xA

  • Rameses the 2nd

    Hypermotrad SP is $15K. FZ-09 is $8K. The fact that FZ-09 is a runner up to a bike ~ twice its price shows how fantastic FZ-09 is. Looking forward to buy one this coming spring.

    • PeteN95

      +1 For probably about $2k you can do a dyno tune, new springs, and a suspension re-valve, then give the Hyper a run for $5k less!

      • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

        For $2k more you could get a Street Triple R without those problems.

        • Rameses the 2nd

          You know this already, Wes. STR has smaller enginge, less HP, and less torque. Yamaha is a better bike for the price.

          • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

            So engine size and power figures make a bike now?

            • Rameses the 2nd

              It is as light and nimble as STR and once the fueling and suspension issues are handled (for additional ~ $2k), it is better bike for the price. What makes STR a better bike than FZ-09 in your opinion? This is a serious question, as I will be buying one this coming March/April.

              • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

                The STR has sorted fueling and suspension. $2k in aftermarket is not the same as an additional $50 a month in finance payments.

                • Rameses the 2nd

                  Got it. Fortunately, I will not be financing the purchase. FZ09 it is for me.

                • Ben W

                  If the STR is the better bike, why isn’t it the one in 2nd place?

                • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

                  Because the FZ-09 is cheap and marks a turning point for yamaha.

                • Ben W

                  Cool. That’s what I suspected from the “moves the needle” verbiage, but then hopped back to the article intro where it simply says “best.” The needle approach drives more interesting results and discussion.

                • Dustin Coury

                  I ask the same question.

                • captainobvious

                  …and the Yami is Japanese and the Triumph is English…

                  anything else?

              • motorock

                For the everyday rider, the Yamaha is way better. I was looking at the STR as well but if you want to do more than just city riding and add some sport touring, keep a passenger fairly happy, have more luggage options and still have some money saved over, the FZ was a no-brainer. To make the STR as versatile and comfortable as the FZ would mean more money and then you are just losing the argument.
                And if money is no issue, get the KTM SMT for all this- hopefully it does get the upgrade all the KTMs have been getting.

            • captainobvious

              so attempting to counter a simple argument-ending fact with an inane question is an intelligent rebuttal now?

        • Stuki

          And have all the legrom of a pocket bike…..

      • appliance5000

        It does have traction control and abs – 2 things the FZ-09 doesn’t offer at any price. When they come up used I’m going to be very very tempted.

        • Rameses the 2nd

          You are right about ABS, but STR doesn’t have traction control either.

          • Stuki

            The Hyper does. And the Yamaha could use it. No ABS is just plain silly on anything shy of a pure dirt or track bike these days. Honda fits it on $5K bikes, darnit.

            • Rameses the 2nd

              Hyper costs twice as much as FZ-09, so it better comes with both ABS and TC and which Honda bike comes equipped with ABS for $5K? Honda doesn’t have anything to compete with FZ-09 right now. Also, Triumph doesn’t offer ABS on its classic series bikes (Bonneville line). Don’t get me wrong; STR is a great bike, but pound for pound FZ-09 gets you more bike for your money. I wouldn’t be surprised if Yamaha introduces the R version with better suspension and offer ABS in 2014.

              • appliance5000

                If it had ABS I’d be onboard – no abs for a new bike in the modern world is just strange.

                The Honda with abs is $6k – I have one and love it.

                • Rameses the 2nd

                  I agree. FZ-09 could use ABS and a bigger gas tank.

              • Stuki

                I was thinking the 500f was around 5, but that may have been a tad optimistic. But, if nothing else, the 250R ABS has got to be < 5K. And while I realize the FZ-09 is in a whole 'nother league than a little 250 single; the fact that the latter can be fitted with ABS, is a pretty good indication of how cheap those parts have now gotten. It's no longer something only available in high spec Gentlemens' Sport Tourers, like it was back in the 90s.

                With Supersport like HP and near Superbike torque, I'd honestly like to have TC and a slipper clutch as well on the Yammer; in addition to abs.

                With that, or honestly even with just ABS, along with fueling and suspension that even ever rosy first ride reviewers claim is between unfinished and poor, I would absolutely love that bike. Much more spacious than the STR; which is just a Supersport with a raised handlebar. Going back and forth between "middleweight" sport nakeds at the Long Beach Show, the FZ felt ergonomically more like the wonderful 690 Duke and Honda 500s than it did the much tighter STR. Heck, it even felt as light as I imagine the (bolted to wheelstands) Duke would feel.

                • captainobvious

                  ABS you’d probably never even need much less notice, TC and a slipper clutch likewise.

                  why don’t you just stay at home and ride a bike with your wii

            • captainobvious

              …sorry, not having ABS is “just plain silly”?

              I’m thinking that not having ABS is a lot less than half as silly as your opinion on not having it

          • appliance5000

            And levels of both abs and traction control are fully programmable in the three preset modes they offer.

    • DrRideOrDie

      good luck. Fz-09 don’t stay in the dealership, getting sold usually within a week her in AZ.

  • SteveNextDoor

    I believe the ‘Our Most Controversial Stories of 2013‘ article is going to need an Addendum.

    • Stuki

      2013, the 1200GS is basically redesigned, adding a water jacket to the quintessential ADV motor; as well as riding modes, proper TC, semiactive suspension, cruise control etc. Just to witness two cheap Hondas with street wheels and suspension travel take 1st and 2nd as adv bikes……. Nah, not controversial at all……….. That’s akin to having KTM bringing over the Freeride, just to see an Ural take top off road honors……..

      At least the water cooled HDs are next years bikes; hence not so directly humiliated by a cheap Japanese “competitor.’

      And next year will almost undoubtedly be the year of more cheap small bikes, this time from KTM…… Can’t wait.

      • DragosStefan

        The 1200 GS is a pig that has nothing to do with adv riding, except for image. I like what they did here with the adv category, looking at proper abilities for the category instead of advertised image. And adv should also mean doing something with less means, yet most of the adv bikes of today are proper luxury items.

        • Nemosufu Namecheck

          Thats really an unfair comment. That bike IS adventure riding – after you practice with it your feelings will change. Sign up for the Rawhyde school and get excited about the bike instead and learn how to ride this awesome machine.

          • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

            Show me somewhere a stock R1200GS can go that an 1199 Panigales wearing TKC80s cant.

            • Avboden

              Anywhere that requires suspension…there’s a substantial difference between the bikes and you know that. ANY bike with TKC80s can go on your basic fire-roads, but now take it up a rocky mountain, you wouldn’t believe the trails i’ve seen 1200GS’s ride with me on my ATK605. Jumping over small downed trees with ease, etc.

              • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

                If you can jump over down trees with ease on a 530lbs (dry) bike, then you’re a better man than I (and the vast, vast majority of riders too).

                • Avboden

                  As I said, you wouldn’t believe the places I’ve seen 1200GS’s go, I don’t claim to be able to ride them that way, but they are capable. Do the same on a panigale and it’ll snap the steering stem right off.

            • Nemosufu Namecheck

              Good point – you should get in the video lab and make this head-to-head a reality! At least it’s a good excuse to get the 990 out for a shoot. For some reason that bike is a very polarizing machine.

        • Ciprian Paulenco

          I have rideen the new GS (not the adventure, the ‘simple’ one). Believe me it’s no pig. It is a verry capable bike. You can’t go where KTM EXC can go, but you can’t ride more than 200 km with luggage on an EXC either. You can ride 600 km per day on an GS and still have some stamina in you.
          Adventure doesn’t mean you put a bike on a trailer and go for a half hour ride in the woods. It means going for the end of the world… or something like that. This is something you cannot do on the winner or the runner-up of the category … in this classification

  • ookla_the_mok

    I’m a person of fairly practical tastes. I drive a Honda Ridgeline, my wife drives an Odyssey ; my favorite article of clothing is whatever has the most pockets. I’ll choose function over form every time.
    So the CB1100 and NC700 are already awesome to me. Nonetheless I don’t have any delusions about them being “sexy” by most consumer’s standards.

    Rideapart does a better job at making them seem so than Honda’s own marketing. I’d wager there are plenty of CB1100 and NC700 owners who would not have acquired one had it not been for RA’s reviews. Well done.

  • Jack Meoph

    I saw a Bolt a couple of months back, finally, and it does have it over the Sporty. The bits on the Bolt look clean and light, while the bits on the Sporty look heavy and crude. Not that the finish isn’t good, but Harleys are so heavy looking. (Like the XR1200, the supposed Harley sport bike….just looking at that thing you could see that it was 100+ pounds over weight from the chunky parts they put on it.) The styling of the Bolt is spot on and the price point hits the mark. I haven’t seen a comparo of the two, but the Japanese usually don’t build a bike to compete and not bring their A game. I would never ride a cruiser but the Bolt is a nice looking bike. But it doesn’t have an H-D on it, and that sometimes is what matters the most to buyers.

    You put the Bergman in the mix, and I think you should have gone all the way and given us a Scooter of the Year! I love my scooter. It’s the perfect machine for getting around the burg when I’m in a hurry and just need to do a quick errand.

    • Kevin

      Agreed, I saw the Bolt in the flesh and it is a really good looking bike with some cool accessories. I’m not a cruiser guy but I wouldn’t mind being seen on that bike, not at all.

    • John

      The Bolt is only heavy…….

    • Doug Herbert

      The problem with the Bolt is that it’s only 900cc. This is a good size for a beginner, but will be small within a year. The V-Star 1300 Tourer is quite a cruiser, and can be had for $9000 bucks with bags and windshield if you shop around. While the Bolt competes with the Sportster, the 1300 blows it out of the water in value per dollar. A new exhaust, a new intake, a fuel computer, and a couple pieces of chrome out of the catalog puts it in the league of the Road King for about half the price.

      Neither the Bolt, the Sportster, the VStar 1300 or the Road King will handle like the sport and touring bikes most people here are interested in, but I think they have their place in the stable for lazy Sunday rides.

  • Scott Otte

    Going for another most controversial article of the year I see. The comments on this one should be fun at least.

  • Mark Vizcarra

    Let me get this straight. You chose a bike that only the top 1% can actually buy and give it RABOTY. GTFO of here! But who am I to choose.

  • Kevin

    Daddy’s picking up his F6B tomorrow, boys!

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Nice!

  • Vincent Franco

    “Inaugural” not first-annual

  • APG7

    Just picked up my DR-Z SM last night. Its the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike in the city. Looking forwards to going nuts on it this weekend.

  • John

    I think you’re just throwing Suzuki a few just to be “fair”. The DRZ is how old? Come on.

    Though, to be fair, it weighs less than the CRF-250L, which is just a ridiculous thought. Is Honda trying to attract customers through gravity?

    • Bruce Steever

      The non-current DR-Z shouldn’t make the list…

      • John

        The real problem is the paucity of anything new or unique in the DS world. The KLX is already 5 years old, the CRF is newer, but too damned heavy for a 250 and in desperate need of a 350cc stroke from the factory. The Kawasaki Sherpa is desperate need of a replacement which would still make it the only real trail bike. There is almost nothing nothing to choose, especially in the 350cc-450cc sweetspot, that doesn’t say KTM. I would have put the Freeride as #2 even though it isn’t available in the US yet, and especially since it isn’t as expensive as it might have been.

  • RJ

    So a blatant Harely-Davidson copy get’s cruiser of the year. What a joke. Whoever sat down with a sketchbook at Yamaha and traced a Sportster should be ashamed. And now RideApart puts it at the beginning of their list. Pathetic. The Moto Guzzi should be on top, there is nothing else like it.

    • Bruce Steever

      Here’s the deal: it’s a blatant knock-off design that actually works, too.

    • DrRideOrDie

      First production motorcycle was made in Germany. Should we say that HD is a blatant knock off of them as well because it had two wheels and a motor with a seat and handlebars.
      HD doesn’t own the cruiser style and I like the look of the Bolt over the HD’s because the 17 extra pounds of chrome just isn’t my thing.
      Oh and Yamaha actually makes motorcycles that work and don’t need work done on them after every ride.

  • Zooey Yoo

    How did the new super duke not make the list?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Because there’s better options in its category.

  • Rameses the 2nd

    RNineT should have been the bike of the year for classic range. Triumph, Honda and Guzzi are nice, but they don’t look nearly as cool as the new Beamer.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Well, once we’ve ridden it early next year, maybe the nineT will go in 2014′s awards.

    • Ben W

      2014 is shaping up to be a fantastic year to be in the new bike market.

    • Bruce Steever

      Notice how it’s bikes of THIS year…

      • Rameses the 2nd

        It was introduced this year, just like Mission RS (included in this article).

        • Bruce Steever

          “Introduced and ridden” is significantly different than “introduced at a trade show with no fuel in the tank and the keys in a lock box in Berlin”

  • akaaccount

    1190RX?

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Next year.

  • Sentinel

    I found the terrible and pervasive high frequency buzz and vibration coming form the engine of the Kawasaki Ninja Z1000SX, which transmits from the engine, throughout the bike, and then into your body unbearable even after a short ride,let alone a long one. With a characteristic like that, I don’t think it belongs at the top of any “Best of” or “Bike of the Year” awards list.

    • Bruce Steever

      On the new one? Really? Our test bike was wonderfully smooth. You could tell that there was a bit of four-cylinder buzz in there somewhere, but it never came close to being a bother.

      • Sentinel

        Yes, the new one. Some people just aren’t bothered by it, while others are. You know that this is a common complaint with this bike, right?

  • Marc

    Honda went from 0% market share in 1958 to more than 50% (!) market share by 1965. They didn’t do it by competing head to head with Harley (and BSA and others) on big bikes, but they absolutely beat them at selling motorcycles.

  • appliance5000

    I’d think the Indians would be in the cruiser/touring list – The sheer beauty of those beasts is amazing even if they weren’t good bikes – but I’ve heard they are very good bikes. i’m in no way a cruiser guy – but wow.

    As for the guzzi v7 – the stone or the standard model are perfectly proportioned and timeless even in a non retro way. The racer just seems silly to me. The prices are high and the tech is low – too bad.

    • Piglet2010

      Another 10-HP and less engine vibration and I likely would have bought a V7 Stone instead of a Bonnie.

  • Johnny Sailor

    I’m surprised the Honda CB1100 beat out the Triumph Bonneville for retro bike of the year. The Bonnie gets so much love from RideApart, and I’m not sure I’ve really heard much of anything about the CB1100 in here.

    • Bruce Steever

      A: it’s not a new model; B: it’s not very good

  • http://protomech.wordpress.com/ protomech

    Mission winning “Bike of the Year” 2013 is about as amusing as the Brammo Empulse concept winning Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New” 2011.
    http://www.popsci.com/bown/2011/product/brammo-empulse

    Mission bikes should be making their way to dealers sometime in early/mid 2014 .. not 2013. The R and RS are awesome bikes, but it’s simply not possible to put your butt on a Mission bike that you own in 2013. And butts in seats is what it’s all about, right?

  • Bruce Steever

    Mission’s placement on this list is a bit farcical, but most everything else is good.

    I’m not sure if the CB500X’s humble charms outweigh the awesomeness of the KTM 1190 Adventure, though…

    • Stuki

      Or a “brand new” GS…..

      In all honesty, the big bikes really only start making serious sense 2up; and for less than either European tech wonder; I could ride solo on the NC; with wifey solo on the CB. And, I bet either Honda handles better 1up, than even the mighty KTM with two on board. And never mind reliability. When stuck with a broken bike a million miles from anywhere; nothing beats having another bike capable of carrying 2 in a pinch along for the ride.

      • Bruce Steever

        Having ridden all four bikes extensively, i can assure you that, while the nimble Honda’s handle better than you might expect, the KTM will easily lose them in almost every riding environment you could imagine. And once the road straightens out? Adios…

        The BMW handles nicely as well, but you have to ride it like a BMW. It’s fast, but it takes getting used to, while the other three are all easy to ride quickly. At least until you run out of cornering clearance…

        Of course, there’s no getting around the price point, and i agree that i’d rather be riding a Honda in the middle of nowhere. At least the KTM can run on crap fuel…

        • Stuki

          I don’t doubt you. It’s just that I’ve been burned on big ADVs twice already; first a 1150GS; then recently an S10. Both amazing bikes, but too big to inspire me to pick them over either the bicycle or the car, for the short runs that comprise 90% of my wheeled transportation needs.

          And as much as I drooled over the 1190 at the Long Beach Show; I suspect it would suffer the same faith should I succumb. A fantastic bike for riding the fantastic roads and backroads between LA and SF; or to Inuvik, only to be left in the garage most of the time due to the hassle of actually living with it in SF once there. Or fear I may not be able to pick it up should I (inevitably) topple it over in the mud up north.

          I like that the Hondas come at it from the opposite angle; they are basically city bikes with an secondary envelope extended to ultimately enable them to go most places the KTM can; even if they do it with slightly less performance and panache.

        • John

          I think you could probably tweak the CB500X to perform better than the KTM at just about everything but straighline speed though and still have money left in your pocket.

          • Bruce Steever

            Better, no way. There’s only so much you can do with cartridge kits and new shocks. And while electronics isn’t everything on a bike, the KTM’s TC and ABS package is simply perfect.

            But again, for my money, a built CB500X would be such a killer value that it’s no contest.

            • John

              I have a hard time believing that the KTM’s 100lb heavier weight wouldn’t be an issue here off road in a race.

  • HammSammich

    See 1969 CB750…

    • Pablo Perez

      Right, that immediately comes to mind. Again, in what universe did the Japanese beat Harley in the “early” ’60s? 1969 is not the early sixties.

      • HammSammich

        You’re absolutely right. I was so interested in earning internet “Gotcha” points that I missed the “early” part…

      • HammSammich

        You are completely right. Sorry, I guess I was just in such a hurry to win internet points that I missed the “early” part… ;)

  • DerekB

    100 percent agree on your choice for bike of the year. It will end up being one of the most important bikes in history and If i had the money I would have already bought one.

    • Bruce Steever

      Place your bets, folks!

  • Rowtag

    I have my sights on the hypermotard sp, just need to sell my damned harley….

  • John

    This just in: Nissan Murano wins 4×4 of the Year……..

  • Justin McClintock

    Surprised at the runner-up in the ADV bike category. I believe you guys have said yourselves that you’d take the DL650 over the NC700X. I know I certainly would.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      The V-Strom’s a great bike, but it’s a little too big and a little too heavy to work well in town and doesn’t innovate like the NC700X does.

  • captainobvious

    You can’t seriously take these sportbike recommendations seriously
    The 899Panigale isn’t a bad bike, but THE BEST SPORTBIKE? LOL be serious
    with the HP4 on the market the ZX-10R…where does *either* Panigale become the best bike on the market?

    The HP4 is simply a better bike and the 10R is a far better VALUE in a motorcycle.
    Look: all of the features, most of the performance (especially with the Euro ECU) and HALF of the cost.

    And ok: “we really like the speed triple as a sportbike EXCEPT for the looks. Those headlights are REALLY ugly!!!!”

    I know, not a trendy Euro-bike
    but wait, the HP4 is German, isn’t that Euro? My gosh, I think that it *is* Euro!

    Nah, Germans don’t really count as Euros, didn’t you know that, man.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Ridden any of those? The S1000RR really nice for a 2005 GSX-R1000, but does little to move the ball forward. The ZX-10R? It makes the traditional Japanese superbike mistake of putting too much engine in too little suspension. The CBR1000RR is better to ride than either of the above thanks to superior component quality and a general cohesiveness that’s unique among Japanese bikes in the class?

      The 899? It’s just sweet and exploitable and looks 10 years newer than any other bike on the market right now.

  • Avboden

    You’re absolutely insane if you honestly believe the F6B is better than the K1600GTL.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      If this was simply a list of the fastest or whatever bikes out there, then we’d just stick the Panigale as the winner in every category. After all, it does go off-road:

      http://rideapart.com/2013/10/ducati-1199-panigale-terracorsa-off-road-superbike-exclusive/

      I bet with some ape hangers and tassles, it’d even make a decent cruiser…

      The K1600GTL came out in 2010, the F6B was new this year. It also demonstrates a stylish, simple approach to touring, and is uniquely appealing because of that.

      • Avboden

        Appealing, newer….okay sure. But is it BETTER than the K1600GTL, that’s the question! By giving it the award, you are saying “this is the best touring bike on the market right now” There’s a reason the K16 has won every MOTY award for touring in almost every magazine since 2010; it’s simply a unrivaled bike.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          I’d argue that the R1200GS is more comfortable and more practical and even cheaper. Not that I don’t love the K16, but the gargantuan tourer thing is a bit one-dimensional.

      • John

        “If this were”, writer man.

    • John

      It seems to me that this is a list that is designed to reward manufacturers for COMING OUT WITH new cool bikes, not for declaring the absolute superiority of a particular bike.

  • ‘Mike Smith

    I think it’s great that Mission was chosen.

  • Paolo

    How about a contest for the WORST bikes of the year?

  • Rob Keith

    You must have not had the opportunity to ride/test many bikes if you came up with those results.

  • Rich Wentz

    I’m sorry but some of your picks here for bike of the year is bullocks.

  • Funguy

    I wouild love web articles more if I they did not allow comments. Learning that you people exist disturbs me.

    • John

      It’s better when you think the world revolves around you.

  • John

    I didn’t even know the 690 Enduro existed in the stable of look-alike KTMs that I can’t afford or rationalize. But it’s highly desireable to me. I’ll have to wait for the 390 Enduro, reduced to my wallet size.

  • NorvinShadow

    How come the KTM 390 Duke is not reviewed by you guys? Its a briliiant machine

    • Jeremy

      Huh? The pricing hasn’t even been announced let alone a press launch. If it still hasn’t been reviewed a fee weeks after a press launch, then you can ask this question.

  • HollywoodRider

    Versys kills most of the bikes listed here in terms of performance and price– more room, better seat and half the price of the hypers, faster and better suspension than Hondas.